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A health worker wearing protective gear collects a swab sample from a woman during a medical examination for the Covid-19 coronavirus at a wholesale clothing market in Mumbai, India, on Friday.

Work Paranjpe / AFP through Getty Images


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Work Paranjpe / AFP through Getty Images

A health worker wearing protective gear collects a swab sample from a woman during a medical examination for the Covid-19 coronavirus at a wholesale clothing market in Mumbai, India, on Friday.

Work Paranjpe / AFP through Getty Images

The total reported cases of coronavirus in India have exceeded 9 million at a historic moment surpassed so far by the United States alone.

But new infections seem to be declining in India, with 45,882 new cases were reported on Friday, compared to daily heights that were more than double those in September.

Some scientists have been questioned the reliability of India’s test regime and kits.

The case load in India totaled 9,004,365 on Friday. This is the second highest in the world, after the US, which has confirmed 11,717,951 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Brazil is third, with nearly 6 million cases, but the death toll is higher than that of India.

Because India’s population is so large, nearly 1.4 billion, the country’s per capita infection rate remains much lower than those countries. About 0.6% of people in India have tested positive for coronavirus since the onset of the pandemic.

The Indian capital New Delhi remains a hotspot, along with the state of Gujarat in the birthplace of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where a weekend curfew has been called in the city of Ahmedabad.

In Delhi, an increase in infections coincided with the Hindu festival season, when families gather in large groups, and a subsequent increase in air pollution, which scientists say worsens the transmission and severity of COVID-19. Local authorities are flying in with additional doctors from other states and are commanding intensive care beds in private hospitals because government hospitals are almost full. On Friday, they quadrupled the fine imposed on caught people who did not have a mask in public, to 2,000 rupees (about US $ 27).

But other restrictions have been lifted across India as the government tries to revive the economy. Most markets, cinemas, restaurants and gyms are open. Schools remain closed in Delhi, but open in many other states.

Last March, India imposed the world’s largest coronavirus blockade, with only a few hours notice, when the workload of the country was relatively low. Modi evaluates this action by stopping the early spread of the virus.

But this left many Indians, especially the working poor, in despair as factories and public transit closed. Amid reports of famine, the government changed course and lifted its blockade in early June. India’s economy shrank nearly 24% during that period. Its central bank confirmed this month that the country has entered a recession, for the first time in its democratic history.



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